The word “brain fog” is more than a metaphor. My mind has been so clouded over the past few years that I can barely remember things I did just yesterday. It’s like trying to live in an episode of Black Mirror — you have no idea what day it is, who your friends are, or how they got there, and everything sounds like it’s being spoken through a tinny speaker on your phone from inside another dimension.
Fortunately for all of us who suffer from brain fog, we can do many things to fight this affliction. Let me share my eight favorite ways with you!
#1 Drink water
Drinking water is the best choice of drink for your body. Water helps to flush out toxins from your body and keeps you hydrated, which can help boost your brain function. Drinking water can also help you lose weight, so if you’ve been putting on pounds without realizing it, this is a good place to start!
#2 Start with a gratitude journal
To begin your journey towards feeling more energized, you should start with a gratitude journal. This simple practice can help you feel happier and more optimistic.
At the end of each day, write down three things that went well for you that day. For instance: “I got up early to go for a run before work, I had a great conversation with my friend over lunch, and I finished my presentation on time.” You don’t need to explain why these events happened or how they made you feel—jot them down on paper or in an app like Google Keep.
Alternatively, try doing this exercise first thing in the morning as soon as you wake up by making a list of all the things you’re grateful for at this moment. Then add another item after each positive experience throughout the day (like finishing work on time). If it helps keep things fresh in your mind, write down everything from what’s going well at home or work to small details like having enough money for groceries this week or spending time with friends over dinner tonight.
#3 Write down your thoughts before you leave the house
Do you ever find yourself forgetting what’s on your to-do list? Or running out the door with a clear head and only half of your thoughts written down? If so, you’re not alone. Even though we have access to countless apps that help us manage our lives, some things still require a little old-fashioned pen and paper.
One way to avoid forgetting important tasks is by writing them down before leaving the house each morning. This simple habit can help you avoid stress when you arrive at work or school because you’ll know exactly what needs to be done when it comes time for your day’s activities. You may also find that writing out these thoughts helps them stick in your mind better than if they were floating around in an app!
#4 Do activities that light up your brain
The best way to combat brain fog is to take advantage of all the fun ways you can light up your brain. Whether it’s easy (like taking a walk) or a bit more challenging (like learning a new language), you can do many things every day.
It’s amazing what a little effort can do for your memory and mental sharpness. If you don’t have time for big activities like these, try some mini-challenges that will wake up the different parts of your brain.
Take short 10-minute breaks every hour and do something slightly challenging — like solving Sudoku puzzles, playing crossword puzzles, or reading something new.
For an intense burst of mental stimulation, try taking an online class in something outside your typical expertise.
#5 Get enough sleep
Sleep is essential for your brain to function properly. Sleep deprivation can cause memory problems, learning difficulties, and other cognitive issues. How much sleep you need depends on your age and health. If you’re generally healthy with no significant medical conditions, the National Sleep Foundation recommends that adults get between seven and nine hours sleep nightly.
If you’re not getting enough quality REM (rapid eye movement) sleep—the stage of deep restorative slumber that helps with learning and memory consolidation—it’s time to take action! Here are some tips to help make sure that happens:
#6 Meditate, if only for 5 minutes
Meditation is a powerful tool for both the mind and body.
When you meditate, you quiet your thoughts, clearing your mind and focusing on one thing. Studies have shown that meditation can help you manage stress, sleep better and even improve memory.
You don’t need to be religious or spiritual to meditate either—you need to find a quiet place where you won’t be interrupted by other people or things around you (or at least make sure they won’t disturb you). Sitting cross-legged isn’t necessary, either! You can sit on any chair with both feet flat on the floor or lie down if that’s more comfortable for you.
If all this sounds intimidating, try starting small: set a timer for 5 minutes and focus only on breathing in through your nose and out through your mouth until it goes off!
#7 Eat a brain-boosting diet
Boost your memory by eating a brain-boosting diet.
- Eat foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids, like wild salmon, walnuts, and flaxseed oil.
- Consume foods rich in B vitamins, including beans and whole grains.
- Eat more antioxidant-rich fruits and vegetables such as blueberries, cherries, and spinach.
- Choose mineral-rich foods like nuts (especially pecans), sweet potatoes, or magnesium-fortified breakfast cereal for an energy boost that will help you think clearly during the day.
- If you have trouble focusing on reading or writing tasks at work because your job requires intense concentration over long periods (for example, computer programming), consider using cranial electrotherapy stimulation (CES). CES devices reduce stress levels while increasing mental clarity.
- For a natural boost of vitamin D—which has been shown to help improve cognition—make sure you get outside during the day or take a vitamin D supplement.
- Take folate supplements daily if your doctor recommends them. This B vitamin is essential for preserving cognitive function throughout life.
- Consider taking omega-3 fatty acid supplements such as krill oil if they’re not already part of your daily routine. These healthy fats improve learning ability thanks to their positive impact on neurotransmitters such as dopamine which play vital roles in memory processing.
#8 Practice mindfulness throughout the day
A great way to begin this process is by practicing mindfulness throughout the day. Mindfulness involves being present in the moment and being aware of your thoughts, feelings, and sensations. It also means being aware of the world around you and focusing on what you are doing-whether it’s a task at work or a hobby at home.
You can practice mindfulness through any activity that makes you feel good, such as sitting down with a good book, walking, enjoying your garden, or meditating before bed. The important thing is not so much what activity we choose but how well we engage with it: Be mindful of everything from our breathing patterns to our posture while doing whatever it is we enjoy most!
So many small things can make a big difference in your mind’s health
Brain fog, a type of confusion, can signify that you have a more severe condition. Sometimes it’s the first symptom of Alzheimer’s or another type of dementia. Brain fog can also cause anxiety and depression, so it’s important to talk to your doctor if you experience this problem regularly.
Here are some ways to prevent and treat brain fog:
- Get enough sleep—7-8 hours per night is ideal.
- Manage stress—by relaxing and doing activities that help you relax (like meditation).
- Get regular exercise—exercise releases endorphins which will improve your mood, boost energy levels, and increase blood flow throughout the body, including organs like kidneys which filter toxins from our bodies.
If these tips don’t seem to help reduce fatigue caused by insomnia, then try making sure that there isn’t any medical reason for why someone might be experiencing trouble sleeping (i.e., sleep apnea). If all else fails, check out some natural remedies before considering prescription medication such as melatonin supplements.”
Remember, you don’t have to do it all at once. Even if you try one of these tips or a few, you can make a difference in your mind’s health and quality of life. The important thing is not to give up! Be patient and keep trying new things until something clicks—and remember that the most important step is taking action.